The Uffizi Gallery was built on the Piazza della Signoria in the 16 century. The Medici ruling in Florence had collected the works of art for centuries. You could rightly put the Uffizi Gallery among the most significant and interesting museums of not only Italy but the entire world.
In the middle of the 15 century the power in Florence was transferred from the Signoria to the single ruler Cosimo de` Medici the Elder. He settled at the Palazzo Vecchio located on the Piazza della Signoria – the center of social and political life of the city.
Almost at once he decided to build near the palace a building for his administrative offices. So, the architect Vasari was commissioned to pull down the buildings between the Palazzo Vecchio and the Arno and replace them by a spacious administrative building. The construction lasted between 1545 and 1580 but finally it was decided to give the building to the museum where they could put all the collections of Medici. These collections were officially opened to the public in 1737 when the last Medici heiress, Anna Maria Luisa, gave the Uffizi Gallery to the city.
The collection of pictures of almost all great painters of Italy and Europe are on the third floor of two buildings connected by a passage on the Arno Embankment. Many antique sculptures, as well as the works of art of Byzantine period are exhibited at the halls of the Uffizi Gallery.
Apart from the works of art the Uffizi Gallery houses the state archives with historic documents of Florence, and the study of drawings and engravings where you can find also the works of Leonardo da Vinci.
Uffizi Gallery is at a walking distance from the most sights of Florence. If you turn right from the embankment, you will come out to the Ponte Vecchio. Crossing the bridge you can get to the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens. And if you turn left from the embankment, you will come to the Piazzale Michelangelo and the Santa Croce Basilica.